Model UN provides a high intensity environment where we as delegates must negotiate with each other and remain in character. Over the course of the 2018 National Model United Nations conference in Washington DC (NMUN DC), I gave speeches, helped draft working papers, and worked towards adopting our committees’ draft resolutions.

Representing Benin in a simulation of the International Organization for Migration helped me learn to establish partnerships with fellow African nations to be in sync on our shared priorities. This was key for Benin and our partners to receive the resources we were asking for. When we began drafting our working paper, we grew into a larger Africa-bloc and brought on board the United States, China, and Germany. An issue none of us had accounted for was one state’s friendship with Taiwan, which made China second guess joining our working paper. It was interesting to see how other students took positions for their state that would hinder multilateralism, while others would be open to cooperation no matter the state’s international standing.

I found the simulation to be extremely helpful. I am not looking to work in a UN career, but NMUN DC provided me experience in representing political interests. Understanding the process of passing resolutions has given me a better understanding of the news I read about the the UN.

Meeting new peers from across the world with diverse background was one of the biggest highlights of the conference. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, learning about global issues and how to achieve change. By the end of the conference I was proud to be at an educational institution that has helped students learn how to be diplomats and further international interests and peace.

– Matthew Thomas ’19